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1 September 2014
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Turkish today
The history of Turkish
Names and writing system

Turkish today by Viv Edwards

Turkish is spoken today by an estimated 60 million people worldwide.

Turkish-speakers in the UK fall into three main groups: Turkish Cypriots, Turkish nationals and ethnic Kurds, many of whom also speak Kurdish.

Turkish Cypriots were actively recruited to fill jobs created by the boom economy in Britain in the 1950s; they also fled in large numbers during the fighting which followed the birth of the Republic in 1960, and the division of the island between the Turkish-speaking north and the Greek-speaking south in 1974. Turkish nationals came a little later as economic migrants to many European cities in the 1960s and the 1970s; the military take-over in 1980 also gave rise to significant numbers of immigrants. Most Kurds are refugees from repression in Turkey where, historically, the speaking of their mother tongue has not been tolerated.

An estimated 100,000 Turkish nationals and 130,000 nationals of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus currently live in the UK. These figures, however, do not include the much larger numbers of Turkish speakers who have been born or have obtained British nationality.

Turkish speakers are scattered throughout the UK with sizeable groups in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds. The largest community, however, is found in London. A survey of London school children conducted in 2000 found that Turkish was the seventh most commonly spoken language, with important communities in Hackney and Haringey.

Bilingual newspapers Toplum Postasi and Londra Gazete serve the Turkish-speaking community in the capital. London Turkish Radio also broadcasts to the community.

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Your Comments
What is your experience of Turkish?

MM from Birmingham, UK
I would like to comment that we have forgotten about one of the most distinctive accents they have in 'Turkiye' ---- Black Sea Accent ---- The speed of their talk is just amazing! They speak ridiculously fast. Fast enough to leave any Turkish from other region completely puzzled about what has been said just now... I am completely fascinated by Black Sea accent.

Ebru Saban from Wales
I cannot see any point to discuss whose pronunciation is more close to Ottomans. I am from mainland and native Turkish speaker. Firstly I must say that there are many dialect used in old Turkish language which mainly dominated by Arabic and Persian. Therefore Arabic and Persian used as an official language in Ottoman Empire. Secondly different ascents have been used according to social status in Ottoman Empire. Even contemporary Turkish Language pronunciation shows differences accordance as regions in the mainland. I am afraid to say that but ms Suzanne' argument is far from logic and history.

Filiz,Türkiye
*Suzanne,I can not accept your accusations regarding us to be a bit snobby against Cypriot dialect.The fact is there are many dialects and accents in Turkish language.And each accent became a subject to use sense of humour amongst the people.It's different in Cyprus,far different in Azarbaycan or Turkmanistan,and different in Turkiye.The fact is it shows differences even in different parts of Turkiye.Aegeans pronounce words different than Mediterranians,Mid Anatolians pronounce different than Tracens or Easterns.However Istanbul accent accepted the best of Turkish pronouncation (like queen english amongst the english speakers) and unfortunately today not many around to speak Istanbul Turkish.

Aidan Work from Wellington,New Zealand.
It is very good of Suzanne Nuri to have made people aware that the Turkish Cypriots have got their own language separate from Turkish.The Greek Cypriot language is also a separate language from Greek.I would like to ask Mrs Nuri this question,"In what way is the Turkish Cypriot language more Ottoman than Anatolian Turkish,& how do you tell?".

Mohsen Ghanbari - Iran ( Julfa )
firstly I should tell my special thanx to the respectfull publisher . I live in Azerbaycan region og Iran . in our country there are very Turkish speaking people ( TURKCE )- over than 30.000.000 . but yuo didn't pay attention to Iran's Azerbaycan . East and west azerbaycan-Ardebil-Zanjan-Ghazvin-Hamedan-ans somany in Shiraz - Khorasan-Gilan-Turkmans and etc all are turkish speaking regions and states in Iran . regards

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